Since it started in 2010, the Hopscotch Music Festival has become a Raleigh institution and an event which music fans who travel to North Carolina from all over look forward to all year. Now in its eighth year, the festival returned this year with its famously diverse lineup. No matter what you’re looking for – indie rock, electronica, country, hip-hop, folk – you’re bound to find it, and the layout of the festival, spread throughout the city, provides the opportunity to check out numerous acts over the course of the weekend. Whether it’s a small local band at an unofficial day party, an internationally-known headliner on the City Plaza stage, or something in-between late night in a downtown club, there’s music to be found everywhere in Raleigh on Hopscotch weekend.
Last weekend, the Hopscotch Music Festival took over downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Now in its seventh year, the three-day festival spread out across ten venues across the city, as well as featuring headlining shows on a large temporary stage on the City Plaza. This year the event expanded to add a second headlining show on Friday night at the Red Hat Amphitheater, a large outdoor performance venue located only a couple of blocks from City Plaza, providing even more choice to attendees.
Hopscotch can be grueling. During the course of the three-day-long festival, some people will compete with their friends to see who among them can catch the most sets by the over 120 official bands (plus a couple hundred bands playing day parties), like it’s a music festival version of Pokemon-Go. Others will attempt to drink their weight in tasty local craft beers while stumbling between a dozen or so venues across downtown Raleigh.
After seven years of covering Hopscotch for various outlets, I’ve decided to slow it down just a little bit and allow myself to savor the best moments.
Music has always been the lifeblood running through multi-instrumentalist Phil Cook's veins for as long as he can remember. In 2015 he fully dialed in to that guiding presence for the first time in his life, and the result was the magnificent Southland Mission. Mission mined a deep history of American gospel and blues to deliver songs of beauty, hope and rejuvenation, that didn't just honor what came before them, but weaved themselves into the very fabric of the rich tapestry of the culture that's at the root of our modern experience.
We (finally) caught up with Phil before his recent show here in Washington, DC to talk about his past, the music he loves, and how a goofy kid from Wisconsin found enlightenment at at an early age in the most unlikely of places.
This podcast can be the instrument to mend a broken heart or to straighten out your life through the sincere testimony of one righteous dude. A must!
Now in its sixth year, the Hopscotch Music Festival has become an annual tradition in downtown Raleigh, NC. Comprising three days of music spread this year between eleven local venues, along with large outdoor concerts held on a large temporary stage raised on the street of the City Plaza, the festival is unique in that it is a large event that manages to maintain the feel of the city that hosts it.